The USS Barton (DD-722) served in the US Navy for two-and-a-half decades in the mid-20th century. She was named for Rear Admiral John Kennedy Barton who served as the Chief of the Bureau of Steam Engineering. Barton was built as an Allen M. Sumner class vessel.
Barton was laid down at Bath, Maine by the Bath Iron Works Corporation in May 1943, launched in October, and commissioned in December with Commander J. W. Callahan in command. Carrying a crew of 336, Barton was 376 feet six inches long and armed with six five-inch anti-aircraft guns, twelve 40 mm anti-aircraft guns, eleven 20 mm anti-aircraft guns, and ten 21-inch torpedo tubes.
Barton was deployed to England out of Norfolk, Virginia in May 1944 and conducted screening, patrol, and bombardment services in June during the Normandy invasion. The destroyer returned to Norfolk in July and then reported to Pearl Harbor in October, followed by a deployment to the western Pacific war zone. During this deployment, Barton took part in the operations at Mindoro and Lingayen Gulf, as well as Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and Japan. After the Japanese surrender, Barton served with occupation forces and sailed for Seattle, Washington in October 1945.
Barton departed the west coast once again in June 1946 and participated in Operation Crossroads from June through August at Bikini Atoll. She was decommissioned in January 1947 at San Diego, and resumed service in April 1949 to join Destroyer Division 201, with the Pacific Fleet, until July. The destroyer then arrived on the east coast in August, where she performed local operations and cruised to the Caribbean and Mediterranean.
Barton reported for the Pacific in May 1952 and was deployed during the Korean War, where she served two tours of duty, and on the second one she was struck by a floating mine. Temporary repairs were done at Sasebo in September and October 1952, and permanent fixes were completed at Norfolk by August 1953.
Barton patrolled with Task Force 77 between Okinawa and Formosa, and sailed past Cape Town, South Africa en-route to Norfolk in August 1954. Barton conducted routine exercises at home and sailed to the Mediterranean with the 6th Fleet once. She was decommissioned and struck from the Navy list in October 1968, and then sunk as a training target in October 1969.
Asbestos Risk on the USS Barton (DD-722)
The Barton used asbestos containing materials to provide fire resistance and insulation throughout the vessel. Engines, pumps, and pipe coverings are all common sources of exposure, though all sailors aboard this ship faced some risk of exposure. Asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma, an aggressive and often deadly cancer than can take many years to develop after initial exposure.
If you or a loved one served aboard the USS Barton and later became ill with an asbestos related disease, you may be able to get compensation for your injury. Treatment for mesothelioma is often costly, and veterans deserve the best quality care. Complete the form on this page for more information about the disease and your legal options.Sources
Haze Gray & Underway. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. DD-722.
NavSource Naval History. USS Barton (DD-722).